Only time I saw FZ was after the Zoot Alures LP came out. Feel fortunate to have the first 24 of the FZ/M.O.I. recordings. He was a terribly underrated guitarist; much better than the likes of Clapton, Page & most of the players from that era.
My first show was in 1984. To be precise August 30, 1984 at Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, MD. That was a seminal year for me being able to see many many bands.
My Zappa repetoire was limited at that time because so much of it was out of print. I knew more than some, but compared to the hard core! It was a great show. I was very impressed with the band. My only complaint was that Frank was singing and conducting more than playing his guitar. So it goes. I was to see plenty in 1988. More on that later...
I lost count of how many times, but the venues stick out, capitol theatre in Port Chester, theatre at the garden, pier 84, the beacon, and those Halloween shows at the palladium , where I actually got to shake the maestro's hand after giving him an FZ NY license plate. And what do you know, Dweez tonite at the Beacon!!!
Greetings all - I was lucky enough to see Frank Zappa twice - 12/5/80 at the Berkeley Community Theater (early show) and in Seattle on 10/2/81 at the Seattle Center Arena. The Berkeley show was such a better venue - a nice small venue. Hilarious time when someone who had tossed his coat up on stage early on, later asked Frank if his car keys might be still in the coat - they were not, and Frank reminded him that walking is good for you. I missed seeing Frank in Seattle in 1984 and I kick myself for that every time I ponder how that happened. At both shows that I saw Frank at I went with shipmates from the Coast Guard - a lot of Coasties dug Zappa. What else was there back then? oh, yea, disco. and you know what they say about disco. I still have a slide of the copy machine in the radio room of the ship I was stationed on - we named her 'Charming Mary from Canoga Park' with a embossed Dymo label-strip. because she worked so hard and got so wet during heavy seas.
I was lucky enough to see him about 10 times (maybe more) in and around the Los Angeles area. I was at the famous "panty rap" concert at the Santa Monica civic where I attended with a gal on our first date. She must have thought I was wacky ... She kept her underpants on ... but not for long hee hee.
I think the best shows I saw were at the Universal Amphitheater which I believe was around the time of Tinsel Town Rebellion. I remember the setlist included: Ms Pinky (with blow up doll), Black Napkins, Honey don't ya wanna .., City of Tiny Lights, Easy Meat ... It was incredible.
I did manage to see a horrible show at the ... I believe the Hollywood Paladium. I remember the sound ssytem sucked and they didn't play for long. I remember a friend of mine said at the time, "That's the last time I'm gonna see Zappa." It wasn't. All other shows I attended were great!
I have many photos from all the shows. I post them from time to time. I showed a couple to Dweezil and he asked me to contact the vault master for possible use on upcoming FZ releases. My buddy has most of the photos somewhere and he's still looking for them. Dweezil promised me a tour of the vault if I could find them and show them to Gail.